Mac sales got off to a relatively sluggish start for the first two months of the current quarter, but overall quarterly results are expected to be a bit healthier, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.
Citing data from NPD Group, Munster noted in a research report yesterday that sales of the Mac rose by 15 percent in April and May year over year in the U.S.
For the quarter ending in June, Munster expects Mac sales to rise 22 percent worldwide over last year, with consumers snagging around 4.2 million units. That compares with the year-ago quarter, which saw Mac sales rise 33 percent year over year worldwide. Growth was higher last year mainly due to a refresh of the MacBook Pro and MacBook lineup, Munster said.
"Despite the slow start to the quarter, we believe it is too early to make a call; that said, we believe it suggests Mac sales are tracking in line with Street expectations (factoring in international), in the range of 4.1 million to 4.3 million," Munster said in the report.
For the full fiscal year ending in September, Munster forecasts that Mac sales will rise 23 percent year over year to 16.8 million, compared with 31 percent growth last year, and that Macs will represent just 21 percent of Apple's total annual revenue.
The projected results come at a time when the entire PC industry is facing weak sales.
Looking ahead, Mac sales could receive a hefty boost from new MacBook Air models that Apple is reportedly prepping complete with Intel's Sandy Bridge processor.